How To Guerilla Market Your Smoke Shop

by Ian Black
How To Guerilla Market Your Smoke Shop

No matter how many times autocorrect attempted to force this A.I. chat bot to write an article about gorillas, today we in fact are not talking about great apes but instead the concept of guerilla marketing!

That’s right, fix your mullet, grab your headband, and prepare to go full Rambo with your marketing in order to see your profits rise like Sly Stallone’s botox bills through the years.

Read on in this Smoke Shop Blog to find out about these subterfuge tactics, how they appeal to your customers, and what some great examples are to try at your shop!

Table of Contents:

What is Guerilla Marketing?
Is Guerilla Marketing Legal?
How Can Guerilla Marketing Help My Smoke Shop?
What Kinds of Guerilla Marketing Exist?
Ambush Marketing
Ambient Marketing
Stealth Marketing
King of the Jungle - Guerilla Gorilla Style

What is Guerilla Marketing?

Guerilla Marketing is a term used to describe the use of unconventional methods in marketing and the increased sales that arise following their implementation.

Due to this, the tactics involved in guerilla marketing are as varied as they can be completely off the wall. As the main requirement is to think outside of the box, there are truly an infinite amount of ways to take the gloves off for some good old fashioned shock and awe.

Think of it this way, if you pie a clown in the face you get attention right? But what if you pie a clown in the face and this time your store logo is on the bottom of the pan? That way as onlookers watch bananas and cream drip off our titular jester, your brand is going to catch more than a couple of eyes in the process.

This right here is in a nutshell, the core of what guerilla marketing is attempting to accomplish. A bright snazzy object dangled in front of the face of your customer base that acts as a pied piper to draw their attention to something they actually want / need.

Guerilla Marketing illustration with key terms

Is Guerilla Marketing Legal?

The short answer: Yes! Until it’s not.

The long answer: Of course, corporate companies big and small do it every single day of our lives without us noticing, the catch is that they have an army of lawyers to let them know if what they are about to do is a catastrophic mistake.

Not as in poor taste like Kendall Jenner’s world peace bringing soda ad, but more in line with scaling a skyscraper to boost bong sales, only to be arrested at the top for felony trespassing by a Sheriff with more points on his badge than brain cells.

So above all always do a quick google search to make sure your stunt or marketing campaign is okie dokie with the long arm of the law.

How Can Guerilla Marketing Help My Smoke Shop?

Employing guerilla marketing tactics can be used to grow your store's brand in spheres it’s not yet known, boost profits through increased consumer spending, and generate an unstoppable domino effect of increased foot traffic.

The benefit to your store also comes from the fact that many of these marketing methods can be incredibly cost effective, thus you are spending less but getting more.

Getting the chance to increase your core audience is incredibly valuable, so if you should have a breakthrough guerilla marketing tactic the benefits stack up exponentially. Additionally through guerilla marketing you are able to get in touch with shoppers who traditional advertising wouldn’t work, thus it is opening up an entirely new potential market for you!

Illustration of the different types of guerilla marketing

What Kinds of Guerilla Marketing Exist?

Due to the experimental and sensational methods of guerilla marketing; there truly exists an infinite number of ways you can surprise your audience with innovative marketing.

But as a general rule there are some larger subcategories of guerilla marketing that are good to be aware of, so as to help kick start your own creative thinking.

Keep reading to take a look at three prominent types that include: ambush, ambient, and stealth marketing techniques that you can adapt and tweak for your Smoke Shop’s benefit.

Ambush Marketing

Traditional marketing is much like the classic “leave the gun, take the cannoli” line from The Godfather, they know exactly who they are targeting, they sweeten the deal with something flashy like cannolis, and then it's off to the meadows lands to uh… complete the sale!

Ambush marketing on the other hand, is much more akin to when Sonny rolls up to pay his final road toll, only to be met by lets just say a surprise party! This is because ambush marketing is banking off where the audience is going to be and then inserting yourself there beforehand.

Thus the term ambush marketing because you are co opting the hype around a different event for your own monetary gain without being directly affiliated with them.

Say for instance there was a big music festival coming to town, even though you're not a sponsor or affiliate, there is nothing stopping you from advertising around the hype of a music festival coming to town.

Lean into the vibes and artists that are going to be headlining in order to piggyback off the natural advertising that comes along with your city, so make sure you benefit from the surround hype as much as possible through ambush marketing.

These events could be anything big coming to town, a monster truck event, wrestling match, or a jazz festival. It doesn’t matter what the event is, it just matters that your ambush is set up.

Ambient Marketing

Ambient Marketing is where you make use of the visibility of public spaces in order to place ads in atypical locations in order to naturally draw customer eyes.

It's the classic psychology of people being more inclined to look at an ad when it's not being forced upon them and is instead something that catches their natural interest. When you do this the viewer may be compelled to take a picture and share it with friends; even raising the potential for things to go viral!

Some examples of ambient marketing are placing your stickers on light poles or announcement boards where you can slip your logo / brand in without disrupting others. You don’t want to place stickers or ads in places that will get you in trouble or fined by the gov, so always be smart about where you put your ambient marketing.

Other more expensive methods can include renting a public facing wall and creating your own projected advertisement or mural. While this is more time consuming and costly than a random sticker, these types of ads can improve the visual excitement of your area and become a positive fixture in people's minds due to the artistry on display.

Stealth Marketing

Much like James Bond parachuting from the sky in full gear, only to unzip for a tuxedo reveal before he saunters into a party full of splendor; stealth marketing is all about burying the lead.

Essentially you are attempting to advertise without the viewer knowing that they are explicitly being marketed to, so as to lower their raised wall of cynicism and allow for effective product education to transpire.

Now if you were to do your own google search of stealth marketing, you are going to find a lot of people deriding the less morally upstanding methods that have been employed in this vein. But that isn’t the full picture, of course some corporations are going to be unscrupulous and deceptive, but just because they use this power for bad doesn’t mean we can’t use it for good.

One idea for stealth marketing would be to talk to other businesses in your area like barber shops, local groceries, or other nearby locations. Propose to these businesses the idea of them recommending your smoke shop, should the conversation ever naturally arise with a customer.

This can lead to a lot of traffic naturally directed to your shop, as most people will take a personal recommendation to heart much more eagerly than seeing an ad on their phone.

In terms of what’s in it for them, you can offer them discounts or a potential quid pro quo promise to recommend shoppers back to their business. Every shop / person is going to be unique, so take it as it comes and always keep one eye open for opportune moments to employ stealth marketing.

Gorilla doing guerilla marketing

King of the Jungle - Guerilla Gorilla Style

Now that we have successfully evaded detection from the local backwater police force, it’s time to take all the tricks we learned out of the woods and back to your smoke shop to begin the domino effect of sales as juiced up as Sylvester Stallone after a trip to the HGH factory.

So experiment with your own guerilla marketing and make use of the ambush, ambient, and stealth tactics that we have gone over but more dialed in for your specific market.

For more smoke shop discussions and business tips, check back at our Got Vape Wholesale Blog to see posts discussing how you can make money selling legal shrooms and to view our rundown in the lead up to 7/10 Day! (Now about 3 weeks away!!!)

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